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Exploring Google Maps Alternatives for Your Website

Exploring Google Maps Alternatives for Your Website

Why would anyone search for an alternative to Google Maps? The service is great; everything is intuitive and user-friendly. However, not all business owners are happy with its operational costs.

Some of them are seeking alternative APIs for their websites. As a result, they get lost in the endless sea of different solutions. So, is there a quality Google Maps alternative? We’ll go into a more detailed explanation of alternative APIs and possible options.

Reasons to Seek Alternatives: The Price

Google raised its prices on Google Maps API 14 times and reduced its free usage limit almost 30 times. All with a minimum notice period. The prices are the same from the USA to Africa. Although the opportunities for monetization vary greatly.

Google assures that the new pricing system will make life easier for customers and optimize their costs. But in fact, such care for business is more of a financial loss and unnecessary confusion.

Many business owners are extremely upset by such benevolent impudence of the corporation. They seriously intend to say goodbye to the most competitively advanced, but now untenable services and go for alternatives to Google Maps.

The Immediate Effect – MapKit.io

One of the most striking examples of businesses affected by such price changes was the MapKit project. MapKit was presented as a simplified version of Google Maps. It allowed you to create maps and add them to a website, and gave you different styles to choose from.

Affected by Google’s new pricing structure, MapKit crew was forced to shut the project down. They were unable to pay the amount that Google asked from them – $4,000 per month. As they were also unable to negotiate to lower these costs, in the end, MapKit stopped functioning.

MapKit.io Website Closing due to costly Google Maps API

What About Google Maps for WordPress?

There was another problem with the use of Google Maps. The number of errors when integrating with WordPress websites increased. For WordPress, there are hundreds of plugins that offer Google Maps integration. But the probability that the plugin will work incorrectly or not at all is quite high.

There are two main reasons for that: the plugins themselves may be outdated, or the money issues that we’ve already discussed. In the first case, plug-ins that haven’t been updated for a long time may just stop working because Google now requires a Google API key.

In the second case, there are two possible scenarios. When you first connect to the Google Maps API, you can start a free trial period. Google will check the connected bank card: it will take $1 from it and return it back after a while.

When the payment account is connected, you are granted with free usage of maps – but with monthly limits. When the free monthly limits are exceeded, Google will offer to switch to a paid rate. Not all businesses can afford that. This is the moment when business owners start looking for an alternative to Google Maps.

Some of the Best Alternatives to Google Maps

There are that you can use to build a route and find the necessary locations during your journey. But sometimes a website needs just a basic interactive map functionality. For example, displaying the preset map region, a zoom function, and the ability to create pins with labels.

OpenStreetMap

The OpenStreetMap is similar to Wikipedia. It is edited by volunteers from around the world. The data is collected by volunteers using cameras, GPS receivers, and ground surveys. OpenStreetMap can be used for commercial sites. The owner of the site may not be afraid to go bankrupt because of the fees for its use.

Screenshot of OpenStreetMap as an alternative to Google Maps

Azure Maps

Azure Maps, a convenient solution from Microsoft, is another great alternative to Google Maps. There are tons of simple, intuitive, handy maps with a good design. They can be easily integrated into a website using JavaScript Map Control or Render API. Azure Maps are dynamically updated, so your site will always have up-to-date information.

Screenshot of Azure Maps as an alternative to Google Maps

HERE WeGo

Nokia offers its own geolocation application HERE WeGo as an alternative to Google Maps. HERE WeGo shows routes, recommended locations near your destination, weather, and traffic. With HERE WeGo API, you get a growing database of 58 million roads and 5 million map changes per day.

Screenshot of HERE WeGo as an alternative to Google Maps

MapBox

MapBox will help you create your own electronic map or schema and publish it conveniently. You may need to publish your organization’s location and travel plans. Social services may need to publish help points or vice versa, hot spots that require activists’ attention. You can apply as many different markers as you like. Take them from the service’s extensive library, and provide names and descriptions. The MapBox service can be useful for both individual users and public organizations. It is a functional and simple tool for posting various cartographic information on the Internet.

Screenshot of MapBox as an alternative to Google Maps

A Simple Solution

But what if you don’t even need a third-party service for your website? Often, you need to show a map of a country with dealers by state or create a worldwide sales rep map. In such a case, a map based on SVG and pure JavaScript will be a great solution. This option has several advantages at once:

  • Its full custom design will fit the color scheme of the page.
  • A huge advantage is its loading speed and page size. None of the third-party API will work as well as a map hosted on your server.
  • There are no unused features and excess data, nor any extra weight for the page.
  • There are significant savings in many cases. Pay once for a ready-made solution and forget about monthly payments.

Choose an interactive SVG map on our website

Screenshot of the world map created by the usage of SVG as an alternative to Google Maps

Conclusion

If it weren’t for the radical price increase, many wouldn’t even consider an alternative to Google Maps. But the sudden change in Google’s policy was an unpleasant surprise for many and prompted them to look for alternatives. We hope that you will find the service that is most convenient for you on our list.

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